Medical Ethics Unit 2 Model

This is a revision method to help me learn, please feel free to use my essay if you want (but you'll have to construct it)

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  • Created by: Alicia
  • Created on: 16-05-14 13:05
1 (Intro) What is Medical Ethics?
Medical ethics is the system of moral principles that apply values and judgements to the practice of medicine.
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2 (Intro) Medical Advancement Problems
The last century has seen significant medical advancements, which has, in turn, created a number of problems for medical practitioners with regards to ethical dilemmas that are difficult to provide a solution for.
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3 (Intro) Best Principle
In this essay, I will argue that the principle of bodily autonomy is the most useful with regards to medical ethical dilemmas.
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4 (Intro) Approaches
I shall examine how religious and secular approaches deal effectively with the dilemmas of abortion.
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5 (Para1) Introduce/Define Teleological
The first principles I shall examine are teleological principles. 'Teleos' is a Greek word meaning ends or purpose, as such, teleological principles focus on the consequence of an action.
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6 (Para1) Resolving different claims
Medical ethical dilemmas could, therefore, be resolved by choosing the decision with the best outcomes, however, there are different claims about what the best outcome is depending on the teleological principle.
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7 (Para2) Introduce U# & PoU
Utilitarianism argues that the right action is the one that optimises happiness; the greatest happiness for the greatest number.
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8 (Para2) Bentham/Intuitive.
Bentham created the concept of U# because he believed that all humans desire pleasure and avoid pain, which is intuitive.
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9 (Para2) Basic concepts/Act U#
Bentham suggests that this is the most basic ethical moral concept; Bentham's branch of U# is known as Act-U#.
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10 (Para2) Relate to Medical Ethics
In medical ethical dilemnmas, this would suggest that one must simply follow the course of action that will lead to the most pleasure/happiness.
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11 (Para2) Abortion = Permissible. Why?
Abortion, for example, could occasionally be considered permissible because, long-term, it might be better for the mother and father and could also be the most loving action for the foetus depending on the situation.
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12 (Para2) Counter inuitive.
However, this type of U# could lead to answers that are counter-intuitive with regards to some medical ethical dilemmas.
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13 (Para2) Example - Kill 1, harvest organs, save 5.
For example, consider the concept that one perfectly healthy person is knocked unconscious, killed, and their organs harvested to save the lives of five terminally ill people.
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14 (Para2) U# view on example
A U# would argue that you should kill the one because it would lead to the most happiness: 5 is bigger than 1.
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15 (Para2) Conclusion: U# wrong
As such, U# is evidently, morally wrong and is not suitable for medical ethics.
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16 (Para3) Introduce SE
Fletcher proposes a different type of telelogical principle, in a theory known as SE.
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17 (Para3) SE = Most loving - agape
Fletcher believes that we should act in the way that has the most loving consequences, treating everybody as if you felt agape love for them.
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18 (Para3) Define agape - eros - philia
Agape love is the highest form of love, being unconditional, it differs from 'eros', ****** love, and 'philia', fondness.
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19 (Para3) Religious basis
SE is based on Jesus' teaching that the greatest commandment is to love your neighbour as yourself.
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20 (Para3) Example - SE says wrong.
With regards to the aforementioned 'kill one to save five' example, Fletcher could argue, using the theory of situation ethic that it would be wrong to kill the one because killing the person is not showing agape love towards them.
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21 (Para3) SE = useful
Situation ethics is a useful principle to apply to abortion because the right decision in a dilemma depends on the situation.
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22 (Para4) Argue SE = useless - cant agree
However, SE may still be useless because it is impossible to agree on what the most loving actions are.
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23 (Para4) Most loving = abort disabled
One person, for example, may say that it would be more loving to abort an unborn disable child.
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24 (Para4) Most loving = Provide support
Whereas, another may say it would be more loving to not abort and that we should attempt to provide the parents with funds in order to support the parents in raising the child.
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25 (Para5) Teleological principles fail
Overall, the teleological principles seem more useless than useful
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26 (Para5) Why they fail. Violations.
At times, their focus on the outcome of an action justifies undesirable violations of people's rights.
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27 (Para5) Vague = no guidance
At other times, the vagueness of the principles lacks practical guidance.
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28 (Para5) Teleological = Not useful
Therefore, they are not useful in solving medical ethical dilemmas.
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29 (Para6) SoL v QoL
I shall now examine theSoL and contrast it against the pro-choice principle of QoL
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30 (Para6) Define SoL
SoL is the principle that all human life is intrinsically valuable, irrespective of quality.
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31 (Para6) Deontological
It is categorised as as deontological principle because it focusses on actions rather than their outcomes; this may eliminate problems posed upon the teleological principles.
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32 (Para6) Basis = Religious Teachings: Image, temple, plan
The main basis of the SoL principle are the religious teachings: the Bible states that man was made in the 'image of God'; the body is a temple for the Holy spirit and that God has a plan for each individual human being.
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33 (Para6) Human = divine
This suggest that the human form is divine and it should always be preserved.
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34 (Para6) Applicable - shorten life = morally wrong, abortion is wrong
This principle is applicable to medical ethical contexts to give the simple answer that any action that deliberately shortens the life of any human being is morally wrong, thus abortion is wrong and should be avoided.
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35 (Para7) Introduce Glover
Glover, however, argues that life is not intrinsically valuable and that life is only valuable if t provides a life worth living, hence Glover attempts to marry this insight with the idea of quality of life.
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36 (Para7) Dead/Unconscious Latter same value as former
Glover argues that there is no subjective difference between being dead and being permanently unconscious, and so, the latter has no more value than the former.
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37 (Para7) Life = consciousness = worthwhile exp
Life must therefore only be valuable if it provides consciousness and, according to Glover, consciousness provides worthwhile experiences.
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38 (Para7) Not worth living = permissible abortion
This would suggest that although life should normally be preserved, if someone's life is not worth living, then it may be permissible to end it prematurely.
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39 (Para7) Favours abortion - Disabled baby example
This argument works in favour of abortion, especially with regards to the example of an unborn disabled foetus.
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40 (Para7) Disable = no worthwhile exp
Arguably, if a child was born physically disabled the child would be unable to obtain any worthwhile experiences due to being limited by their disability, thus, according to Glover, their life would have no significant value.
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41 (Para7) Acceptable to abort, teleological
Consequently, it would be acceptable to abort a foetus who could possibly be disabled as it would be the most loving action and the situation allowed this result, with regards to the teleological principles.
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42 (Para7) No FoV
Additionally, the foetus would have no specific future of value, so Glover argues, in this case, it is permissible to abort.
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43 (Para8) Intro JJT and JE - QoL = ok to abort.
However, Philosophers such as JJT and JE have argued that even if the quality of life of an unborn foetus will be good, it is still morally justified to abort.
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44 (Para8) Dispute premise
In other words, they dispute the premise "it is wrong to end the life of an innocent person"
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45 (Para8) A# > QoL
This is because the principle of bodily A# is even more useful than quality of life.
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46 (Para8) Analogy: Violinist
Thomson offers an analogy: Imagine that you were knocked unconscious, hooked up to a famous violinist who must depend on you for life support for the coming 9 months.
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47 (Para8) Unhooking = okay
Thomson maintains that you would be morally justified in unhooking yourself, even if it resulted in the death of the violinist.
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48 (Para8) Pregnant 'unhooking' = justifiable
By analogy, a pregnant woman is justified in 'unhooking' herself from the foetus even if doing so results in the death of the foetus and even if the foetus is a person.
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49 (Para8) Moral = right to x
The moral of this analogy is that having a right to abortion does not give you a right to all things abortion requires.
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50 (Para8) Henry Fonda example
For example, Thomson argues that if the one thing that would save her life would be Henry Fonda's touch upon her skin, HF would not be obliged to take a plane or travel to where she is just to save her; although it is a nice action, it is unnecessary
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51 (Para9) Limitations of JJT analogy
Thomson's analogy could be argued as having a number of limitations that does not allow it to fully work for the issue of abortion.
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52 (Para9) Only covers extreme cases
Firstly, it only covers cases of **** because the person is knocked unconscious, and many aborted pregnancies are accidental pregnancies.
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53 (Para9) Abortion = not wrong
Consequently, this analogy does not coincide efficiently with the case of abortion and as such does not argue proficiently against the fact that abortion is wrong.
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54 (Para10) JE amendments
Conversely, the P#, JE, amended JJT's example by arguing that if the person went out one night knowing that they might be rendered unconscious and hooked up to a violinist, they would still, according to JE, be entitled to unhook themselves.
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55 (Para10) closely analogous
This amendment then makes this case more closely analogous to conventional cases of unwanted pregnancies.
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56 (Para11) Argument = legal because of ****
T's analogy argues that abortion should be made legal because women who are ***** and impregnated should not require to live with a reminder of this traumatic experience.
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57 (Para11) Obstruction - Cruise
With regards to this, although it is wrong and immoral, a woman would be justified in aborting a baby because the baby is obstructive to something the woman might want to do, such as go on a cruise.
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58 (Para11) Josie Cunningham example
As seen recently in the news 'NHS Boob Job Mum' Josie Cunningham has stated that she would abort her baby of 18 weeks in order to appear on Big Brother.
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59 (Para11) Cunningham quote
Cunningham states: "This time next year, I wont have a baby, but I will be famous and have a bright pink Range Rover. I'm finally on the verge of becoming famous and I wont ruin it now. An abortion will further my career - nothing is going to stop me
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60 (Para11) Double standard
Using JC as an eg, T argues that because you should make abortion legal for the cases of forced/accidental pregnancies it would be double-standard to not allow all women the right to an abortion.
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61 (Conc) Telological
In conclusion, the teleological principles argue that the most loving/happiness action would be to keep the child.
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62 (Conc) Thomson
Conversely, Thomson argues that abortion should remain legal because although there are some people that misuse their right to abortion, this fraction of women is minor compared to the women that desire abortions because a child would have an impact.
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63 (Conc) Personal opinion
Personally, I believe that, although I disagree with the women that use abortion as a method of contraception, women should be allowed to do whatever they want with their bodies, after all, God's greatest gift is free will.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The last century has seen significant medical advancements, which has, in turn, created a number of problems for medical practitioners with regards to ethical dilemmas that are difficult to provide a solution for.

Back

2 (Intro) Medical Advancement Problems

Card 3

Front

In this essay, I will argue that the principle of bodily autonomy is the most useful with regards to medical ethical dilemmas.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

I shall examine how religious and secular approaches deal effectively with the dilemmas of abortion.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The first principles I shall examine are teleological principles. 'Teleos' is a Greek word meaning ends or purpose, as such, teleological principles focus on the consequence of an action.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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